Public comment period runs for another week on Dyer Timber Harvest Plan
The public can make comments on the THP until Monday, Jan. 29.
Once the public comment period closes, Schultz has 15 days to approve or deny the THP. He said he expects to take the entire 15 days to review the complex plan. His review will close on Feb. 20. CDF must also prepare an official response to the comments, Schultz said.
Since timber harvest plans are strictly for timber management, DMA cannot receive approval of a THP to harvest timber for ski hill clearing without approval of a timber-land conversion plan.
DMA has not applied for a TLCP. However, Nick Ceaglio, director of community relations for Dyer Mountain Associates, told the Westwood Chamber of Commerce in January timber harvesting this year would include partial clearing for ski runs on Dyer Mountain and in staging areas, such as the site of the ski lodge.
The proposed resort includes golf and skiing, more than 4,100 single family, multi-family and lodging units and approximately 333,800 square feet of commercial/retail and support facilities on about 7,000 acres.
Schultz said the THP for 2,322 acres, jointly submitted in July by three landowners — DMA, Roseburg Resources and Pacific Gas and Electric Company — disclosed the plan for the ski hills. He added the THP did not include any long, stringy, downhill cuts that look like ski runs.
Three groups — the Honey Lake Maidu, of Susanville; the Mountain Meadows Conservancy, of Westwood; and the Maidu Cultural and Development Group, of Greenville — objected during the public comment period, which is still open.
A fourth group filed an objection. Schultz said CDF learned about the fourth group’s comments when a reporter from the Lassen County Times asked about a letter from Sierra Watch. Internet problems prevented receipt of the original submission, he said.
“This THP would inappropriately segment the environmental review of the Dyer Mountain Resort Project … and as such it is illegal and should be denied by CDF,” Nathan G. Alley, an attorney for Sierra Watch, a Nevada City conservation group, wrote in a Sept. 15 letter to Shultz.
“Any comment letter we get we have to address with an official response,” Schultz said.
A multi-agency team did a pre-harvest inspection to assess whether the THP was complete, accurate and in proper order. The team includes members from CDF, the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, the California Geological Survey and Native American groups.
The team then spent weeks asking questions of the registered professional forester who prepared the THP. Schultz said the team’s review is the functional equivalent of an environmental impact report.
The review process was complete on Friday, Jan. 19. CDF has issued final recommendations to the registered professional forester who prepared the plan.
The public, and specifically the groups that have commented on the THP, now have 10 days to comment on the recommendations.
When DMA starts to develop the ski runs and takes forestland out of production, it must apply for the timberland conversion permit. The TLCP review may be based on the EIR for the resort, if it is complete.
Then DMA will have to submit a new harvest plan to remove the trees on the ski runs. Schultz said review of the conversion permit and the THP can be done at the same time, which usually takes about 80 days. But CDF can’t approve the harvest plan for ski runs until the timberland conversion plan is complete.
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